Leadership is the art of designing transformative conversations.
Real change is needed, now, more than ever. This change can’t happen through force, edict or persuasion. The future will be built through conversation - and Good Talk will show you how.
Good Talk is a step-by-step framework to effect change in your personal and professional conversations. With dozens of tools and interactive components, Good Talk is a handbook to navigate the conversations that matter.
How to see the structure of conversations.
Life is built one messy, slippery conversation at a time. While conversations feel hard to hold onto, ebbing and flowing, back and forth and into eventual silence, they each have a structure. The first step to changing your conversations is seeing what’s going on between the silence.
What is your Conversation Operating System?
Who gets invited to the conversation? Who speaks first? Where does the conversation take place? What happens if someone messes up? In every conversation, there are elements that guide the exchange. The nine elements of the Conversation OS Canvas can help you to shift the direction of your conversations.
What is your conversational range?
Conversations are more than dialogue. From the conversations in your head to the complex conversation that is your organization, you need to design conversations that matter across a huge range of sizes. Learn to master conversations from the boardroom and beyond.
How to design conversations that matter.
The world needs fresh, creative conversations that are alive, and that work for all the people involved. How can you design conversations that matter? Leadership means designing the conditions for these conversations to happen. Learn the patterns and principles t www.danielstillman.com o make change possible.
“A rich, thoughtful, and useful handbook for designing conversations that create meaningful change.” – Dave Gray, co-author of Gamestorming, author of Liminal Thinking
“How do you design better conversations in the workplace? I can think of no more important skill for a leader (or for anyone trying to improve the world of work for that matter) than the conversation skills this book unpacks in an incredibly practical and hands on way.” – Didier Elzinga, CEO/Founder & People Geek, Culture Amp
“Conversational Leadership is a new approach to aligning teams and leading change – which is more critical than ever – and has transformed how I lead Sprints and train Sprint Masters at Google.” – Kai Haley, Head of Design Relations and Lead of Sprint Master Academy, Google
Table of contents
Part One _ 15
Part Two _ 31
Conversations Have Structure
Part Three _ 53
The Conversation OS Canvas
Invitation _ 56
Interface _ 64
Goals and Agreements _ 72
Turn-Taking _ 80
Cadence _ 88
People _ 96
Power _ 104
Threading _ 112
Error and Repair _ 120
Part Four _ 133
Conversations Have Size
Conversations with Yourself _ 140
Being in Dialogue _ 150
Group Talk _ 158
Community Conversations _ 166
Part Five _ 177
How to Design Conversations
Feedback, Coaching and Mentorship _ 186
Facilitating Group Conversations _ 194
Products are Conversations _ 202
Systems Change is a Conversation _ 212
Conversational Leadership 220
Part Six _ 229
You Are a Conversation
Acknowledgements, Gratitude and Thanks _ 242
Endnotes _ 246
Daniel Stillman designs conversations for a living, and insists that you actually do that too. As an independent design facilitator, he works with clients and organizations of all shapes and sizes ... Meer